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Pensioner Jailed For Nine Months After Heroin Was Planted In Luggage

Pensioner Jailed For Nine Months After Heroin Was Planted In Luggage

A British pensioner has spoken out about the 'hellish' nine months he spent in prison after drug smugglers planted three kilos of heroin in his luggage.

Peter Hambrook, from Richmond, London, was held at EP Lisboa jail after authorities found the Class A drugs in the lining of his luggage.

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Authorities found three kilos of heroin in Mr Hambrook's luggage. Credit: PA
Authorities found three kilos of heroin in Mr Hambrook's luggage. Credit: PA

The 68-year-old computer consultant was sent on a job in Mozambique and was asked to buy gifts from Maputo Market to bring back to an associate in Amsterdam. He was then given a case to carry the gifts back in by a colleague called 'Jack', but was stopped by Portugal's national anti drug-trafficking unit during a transfer at Lisbon airport in May 2018.

The authorities proceed to tear open the lining of the case and found three kilos of heroin with a purity of 38.2 per cent, which is enough to make 38,400 individual doses.

According to The Mirror, Mr Hambrook said: "I was surprised. I'd bought straw hats and African carvings and put them in the bag. I had no reason to suspect an ulterior motive.

"I suppose in hindsight I should have been suspicious. Jack offered to lend me a bag and he carried it up the stairs to the room and to the airport. I never had the chance to pick it up and test the weight, I never thought there was anything untoward. Jack said, 'Thanks for coming to sort out the problem'.

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"When I landed I picked up the bag and these two men just appeared. Two women were there and one of them got a knife and slashed the side of the case.

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"There was black plastic there, but I had no idea what it was - I had no idea it was heroin. I had no idea there were going to be any issues."

Mr Hambrook ended up spending nine months behind bars. Credit: PA
Mr Hambrook ended up spending nine months behind bars. Credit: PA

Mr Hambrook went on to spend nine months behind bars, seven-and-a-half of which were served at high security prison, EP Lisboa, during which period Mr Hambrook lost three stone.

He said: "The prison was awful. One time the phones weren't working and I wasn't able to call home. I told the guard it was unacceptable and they accused me of attacking him.

"I spent days isolated in a segregation unit. I didn't even leave to exercise because I was worried I'd be targeted.

"There's no air conditioning and no heating. There was an open toilet in the cells, although most inmates put up a curtain so there was a degree of modesty.

"Lunch was so appalling I asked for vegetarian food immediately. I remember seeing a piece of skin served up as meat and there was still hair from the pig sitting on it.

"During the time I was in, there were 12 deaths - only four of those were from natural causes."

Mr Hambrook was eventually acquitted and he is now writing a book about his experience.

He said: "I've never smoked, I've never taken drugs. I've never even bought cigarettes. There is justice in Portugal - but it moves excruciatingly slowly."

Featured Image Credit: Gerard Couzens

Topics: uk news, crime, Drugs

Jake Massey

Jake Massey is a journalist at LADbible. He graduated from Newcastle University, where he learnt a bit about media and a lot about living without heating. After spending a few years in Australia and New Zealand, Jake secured a role at an obscure radio station in Norwich, inadvertently becoming a real-life Alan Partridge in the process. From there, Jake became a reporter at the Eastern Daily Press. Jake enjoys playing football, listening to music and writing about himself in the third person.